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* Usually females will fill up a bit. But then you need to know her "normal" size/posture.
* They will show breeding bars - pale colored bars at the mid section. Unfortunately light colored female will not show them because the color of the bars will blend with the body color.
* I rely more on body language. . . . look at youtube videos. Compare bettas wanting to breed to those wanting to fight. In breeding mode they will flare and swim all over the tank in an "S" fashion . . . or what you call "dance" (first post). Both male and female must show this behavior. When in fighting mode, they flare but hold their stand.
* Head down behavior is usually done only when female is ready to embrace/lay eggs.
 
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